"The Actual Enumeration..."

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the primary concerns for the founding fathers was the method used to determine representation and taxation from the states. The Virginia Plan proposed by Madison and Randolph suggested that representation be determined by the population of the state while the New Jersey plan proposed by Paterson discussed equal representation for each of the states. Finally, a compromise was reached by designing a two house or bicameral system of representation. However, concerns and questions remained about the slaves in America. Delegates from the states with large slave populations wanted the slaves considered as persons for the purpose of determining representation. If the new government were to raise taxes from the states, the slaveholding states wanted to count the slaves as property rather than as population. The final decision was reached by determining that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a free person for the purpose of representation and direct taxation. This is called the "three-fifths compromise." The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution adopted in 1868 would eventually eliminate this method of the computation.

The census material included in this exercise will allow students to investigate the population of households as well as gathering mathematical data about the time periods. Another point of interest will be the housing needs of the numbers of individuals in each "family." Students will recognize their own concerns for personal space while discussing some of the requirements that they believe the numbers of people in each household would need in the 1850s.

Activity 1: Gathering Data
Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to:
  1. Identify some of the ages, sexes and races of the individuals in a given household using a census.
  2. Compare and contrast the methods of counting individuals for the census using the "three-fifths compromise."
  3. Make historic assumptions based upon census data.

QCC Objectives:
Grade 4: Skills: A1, A2, A3, B12, B13, D24, D29,
Grade 8: Topics/Contents: D20, Skills: A1, A6, A9, A10, D34, D38, D39, H40, H41, H48

For this Lesson you will need the following images: Suggested Lesson:
  1. Make copies of the census documents for the students.
  2. Using the 1840 and the 1850 census, ask the students to tally the total number of people included in Governor McDonald's and Governor Towns' household.
  3. Answer the following questions:
    1. How many white males were there in each household?
    2. How many of the white males were below the age of eighteen in each household?
    3. How many white females were there in each household?
    4. How many of the white females were below the age of eighteen in each household?
    5. How many slaves were counted in each household?
    6. How many of the slaves were male in each household?
    7. How many of the slaves were female in each household?
    8. How many of the slaves were below the age of eighteen in each household?
    9. What are "free colored persons?"
    10. What other kinds of information can one find using these documents?
    11. Why are the census documents separated in 1850? Do the 1850 documents supply you with more or less information than the 1840 document?
  4. Calculate the number of people for whom Governor McDonald and Governor Towns must pay taxes and can be used for the purposes of representation. Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution states: " Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."
  5. How will "free colored persons" in the community be counted?
  6. Describe Governor McDonald's or Governor Towns' family using the information that you have gathered from the census. Can you make a prediction concerning McDonald's or Towns' wealth? What kinds of work would the slaves perform while in the Governor is Mansion? Do you believe that these are all of the Governor's slaves? Why or why not?
  7. Imagine that you are designing the next census. Make a list of the questions that you might ask. (If possible, obtain some information from the U.S. Census Bureau about the questions and information gathered during the census. The calculation of homeless people in the United States presented a large problem in the computation of the 1990 Census.)

Activity 2: Architectural Designs
Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to:
  1. Make historic assumptions based upon census data.
  2. Discuss societal and technological advances that have influenced architectural designs.

QCC Objectives:
Grade 4: Skills: A1, A2, A3, B12, B13, C17, C19, C23, D24, D29,
Grade 8: Topics/Contents: D20, Skills: A1, A6, A9, A10, C20, C24, C25, C33, D34, D38, D39

Suggested Lesson:
  1. Divide the class into groups of four. Allow each group to research architectural styles of the 1840s to determine the common uses of rooms and possible sizes of rooms during this time period.
  2. Using the information that you have gathered from the previous census exercise, write a paragraph describing or draw a picture showing the house that you believe would be necessary for either the McDonald or the Towns family. Describe the number of rooms and the types of rooms that might be needed for the McDonald or the Towns family.
  3. Compare the house that you have created to your own homes. How many rooms are necessary for your families? What kinds of rooms are found in a modern home? What similarities and differences exist between the structures from the 1840s and modern structures? How have the needs of society and technological advances changed the structures of homes? nineteenth century. The kitchens and bathrooms were commonly separated from the living portions of the houses of the nineteenth while bedrooms and beds were commonly shared.)
  4. Imagine that you are the architect who has been hired to design a building to serve as the Governor's Mansion. Remember that this building is a symbol of leadership. Also, it will be used as a public building and must accommodate different families with different needs. With your group members, make a list of necessities for this new mansion.

Click here for the Tenth Lesson, Preparing for the New Governor

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If you have any questions or comments about the Mansion,
please contact Jim Turner either by phone or e-mail-

(478) 445-4545 / jim.turner@gcsu.edu

or by mail -

The Old Governor's Mansion
120 South Clarke Street
Milledgeville, GA 31061

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